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3 NL Teams To Consider As Baseball Contenders & 2 To Ignore

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 4 mins

3 NL Teams To  Consider As Baseball Contenders & 2 To Ignore

It might feel like there is a lot of time before the 2020 MLB season begins, but players report to spring training as early as Feb. 10.

To those considering early World Series betting lines on a possible contender, now is a good time to jump on it before players hit the field.

For fans of MLB betting, here are three value picks to win the National League pennant, along with two teams to be wary of.


Los Angeles Dodgers+260
Atlanta Braves +450
Washington Nationals+500
Chicago Cubs+900
Philadelphia Phillies+1000
St. Louis Cardinals +1000
New York Mets +1000
Milwaukee Brewers+1200
Cincinnati Reds +1700
San Diego Padres+2200
Arizona Diamondbacks +2200
Colorado Rockies+5000
San Francisco Giants +5000
Pittsburgh Pirates +8000
Miami Marlins +30000

Odds are current as of publication but subject to change. They are posted by William Hill.

Three Teams Showing NL Value

1. Arizona Diamondbacks +2200

3 NL Teams To  Consider As Baseball Contenders & 2 To Ignore 1
Ketel Marte, who tied for the NL lead in hitting at .329 last season, will likely be the starting second baseman for the Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks finished a respectable 85-77, just four games out of a Wild Card spot (and a whopping 21 back of the Dodgers in the NL West).

But they had a great off-season, adding workhorse Madison Bumgarner to the rotation and Starling Marte and Kole Calhoun to an outfield that didn’t pack much punch in 2019. Ketel Marte tied for the NL lead in hitting (.329). Mike Leake was a gas can last year, allowing a league-leading 41 HRs and 227 hits allowed — if he bounces back, the rotation will be solid enough from 1-5.

2. Cincinnati Reds +1700

3 NL Teams To  Consider As Baseball Contenders & 2 To Ignore 2
Luis Castillo went 15-8 with a 3.40 ERA for the Reds last season.

The Reds finished with a losing season for the sixth time in a row, but their 75 wins were seven more than any other year in that stretch. They were once again spenders in the off-season, adding slugger Mike Moustakas and all-around OF Nick Castellanos, plus Japanese standout Shogo Akiyama, who may be the team’s leadoff hitter on Opening Day.

Starting pitching, often a weakness in Cincinnati the last half-decade, is now a strength, with Luis Castillo, Trevor Bauer and Sonny Gray packing a formidable top-of-the-rotation punch. With the Cubs and Brewers potentially taking steps back, the door is open for Cincy to walk through.

Atlanta Braves +450

3 NL Teams To  Consider As Baseball Contenders & 2 To Ignore 3
Ronald Acuna hit 41 home runs with 101 RBI for the Braves last season.

The Nationals won the World Series with an improbable second-half run, but the Braves were the best team in the NL East and they got stronger in the offseason. An already top-tier pitching staff got better with the addition of Cole Hamels. An outfield that includes Ronald Acuna and Nick Markakis now has Marcell Ozuna.

That wasn’t all (Travis d’Arnaud at catcher is a big pick-up, too). If veteran Mark Melancon can’t pick up where he left off as closer after Atlanta acquired him late, new addition Will Smith can jump right in.

Two Teams To Fade

Chicago Cubs +900

Chicago will essentially be rolling out the same team this year as last year, but without manager Joe Maddon, and with a likely disgruntled Kris Bryant, if he’s there at all.

Chicago went 84-78 and missed the postseason by five games, and there are too many other contending NL teams to back the Cubs at this price.

Milwaukee Brewers +1200

Christian Yelich is back, but too many of his teammates on last year’s playoff team aren’t, including Moustakas, Yasmani Grandal, Zach Davies and Gio Gonzalez, among others in cost-cutting moves.

The NL Central was among the more-competitive divisions in MLB last year and with the expected resurgence of the Reds, it should be even more so in 2020. On paper, the Brew Crew took a step backward.

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.